Language at CAIS

Language is central to all learning. At CAIS all teachers are language teachers and, as such, are responsible for explicitly teaching the language conventions and vocabulary of their subject. English is the language of instruction, and is encouraged as the spoken language in the classroom, hallways and playgrounds.


Language is best learned in authentic contexts and providing opportunities for students to communicate using English as much as possible will aid their language development. Teachers will differentiate tasks and expectations to suit students’ language levels and additional support will be provided to those students that need it in order to allow all students to access the curriculum and develop their best version.


There are many languages at CAIS, but there are three main languages and CAIS is working towards a tri-lingual model

German and Chinese are the main native languages of the student body, whilst English is the language of instruction of the programmes and the language through which all nationalities can communicate.

French, Spanish and Korean are also taught in Secondary.



All students in Early Years, Primary and Secondary are taught through the English language. It is also the language of communication on the school. 


In Primary native German speaking students currently receive between 4-5 lessons of German per week. However more support for German is planned for the next academic year, and native German speaking students will receive between 9-10 lesson through the German language per week. During different parts of each Unit of Inquiry, there will be opportunities for German students to work in their native language. This will help students absorb more difficult concepts in different subjects at the same time as learning German. For example, Grade 5 students will have the option to do the Exhibition in German.

In Secondary native German speaking students have 8 lessons of German per week and we are exploring at ways of increasing this.


Chinese is taught as a mother tongue to native speakers and as an acquired language to non-native speakers. In Primary native mandarin speakers receive 5 lessons of Chinese per week plus between 2-4 lessons of Chinese National curriculum. In Secondary native mandarin speakers receive 8 lessons of Mandarin peer week, plus between 4-6 lessons.